The cherry journey

As the seasons change, vibrant anticipation fills the air – it's that time of year when cherries fill our markets and tables. While some see it as the onset of summer and others as the start of a new year, our collective love for these ruby-red gems is truly universal.

Close shot of cherries

Latin America stands as the primary hub for cherry cultivation, claiming an impressive 80% of the global market share, with Chile leading the pack in production. The nation's fertile land yields an abundant annual harvest, and over 85% of the cherries grown in Chile are destined for China.

Chile’s cherry season runs from late November to February, aligning perfectly with festivals around the globe, particularly the Chinese New Year celebrations in the first quarter of the year. Cherries symbolise good fortune in the Chinese tradition and witness a surge in demand during this festive period every year, captivating people in the region with their sweetness and vibrant hue.

The transportation of these cherries across continents requires an intricate network of logistics, with over 70 million cardboard boxes travelling the globe each year. Throughout this journey, Maersk Cold Chain Logistics ensures the safe passage of these delicate treasures from farm to table, preserving their freshness and flavour all the way.

Maersk's Air Freight Solutions for Cherries

Maersk Air Freight in warehouse

The 2023-2024 cherry season marked a significant milestone for Maersk as we took the delicious fruit to the skies with our first successful export of cherries by air freight. This move solidifies Maersk's commitment to meeting the dynamic demands of global trade and serving our customers through multiple modes of transportation.

The air service addresses critical needs, helping to save costs by reducing production-to-delivery times and boosting overall sales by ensuring better product availability. It also helps fortify resilience and agility within the supply chain and plays an essential role in securing and elevating customer service standards by facilitating fast, visible and predictable deliveries.

Air freight services are a big part of our strategy to provide end-to-end integrated solutions that adapt to the needs of our clients. We have established significant collaboration with key commercial airlines, which enables us to reach any destination and utilise various routes effectively.

Nathalia Sallas,
Air Product Manager at Maersk for the West Coast of South America

Magdalena Toro, Foreign Trade Specialist at XSUR, highlights their experience with Maersk's excellence in air shipments for cherries.

We chose Maersk's service for our first cherry shipment by air, and it was definitely the best option. We had traceability of our cargo throughout, and they were very efficient in managing the booking and documentation.

Magdalena Toro,
Foreign Trade Specialist at XSUR

The season’s highlight was the launch of five air charter flights, each brimming with 500 tons of Chilean cherries. The inaugural flight on 21 November set the tone for swift transit times of 2-3 days, ensuring efficient and prompt deliveries until the final flight reached its destination by December's end.

Maersk's undertaking of air freight solutions for Chilean cherries during the 2023-2024 season signifies a major achievement. By recognizing the importance of the fruit’s global market and strategically navigating the complexities of air transport, Maersk has not only met the demands of a vibrant industry but has also contributed to fostering cultural connections and global trade relations. This milestone will help pave the way for future innovations, positioning Maersk as a leader in pushing the export of perishable goods to new heights.

Read all about our cold chain solutions in Latin America and how they can help you build a more predictable cold chain from end to end.









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